When looking at rangefinder reviews always bear in mind what you want to use the rangefinder for. Be clear if you want it for archery, shooting or both. Not all rangefinders are born equal! Firstly we will mention some rangefinder features found in many rangefinders.
The ability of a rangefinder to detect 2 simultaneous readings and provide just one reading selected by the user is very useful. This feature is called “Target Priority”. This situation can occur when there are foreground and background objects in the line of sight of the rangefinder.
The “First Priority” setting will provide the range of the nearest object. Rangefinders commonly use this target mode in golfing situations. In this case, as your field view consists of the pin in the foreground and of the green background with very few obstacles that obscure the sighting of your target. When hunting, the “First Priority” mode setting could be used when in an open ground.
In “Last Priority” mode, rangefinders are able to determine the distance of the further object. This is also ideal for hunting as there might be bushes, vegetation or tree branches that can be in your line of sight to your real target in the background. Furthermore laser rangefinders that offer selectable target modes are more flexible and useful.
Does It have a Scan Mode?
Many rangefinders also have time limited scan mode which is useful to get a continuous reading of range as you move the rangefinder. This helps to see the relative range of objects in your field of view. It can also be useful to range moving targets like a deer.
Good rangefinders for golf, rifle and bow hunting will also have angle compensation built in. The corrected distance to target when aiming at significant angles to the target produce compensated readings that can significantly differ from the line of sight reading. As most rifle scopes are set up for LOS (line of sight) target distances.
Also, the better rangefinders calculate a horizontal distance to target which allows the hunter/shooter setting up the rifle scope or shot. In these circumstances, range compensation can mean the difference between a hit or a miss with bigger angles to target. Also, there is often very little difference between an angle compensated reading and a line of sight reading for normal shooting angles.
Weather Proofing And Environment
Whether it’s golfing, shooting or bow hunting in the wild weather will always to destroy your rangefinder. Is it fully waterproof of rainproof? Will your rangefinder stand up to being dropped into a puddle? This is an important consideration when in the field. By looking at rangefinder specification you can see what kind of protection a rangefinder offer. You then decide if that is good enough for your intended use. Is it weather proof from temperature? Some higher end rangefinders are gas filled to prevent any fogging of the optics in cold weather.
Size – Weight – Dimensions – Ease of Use – Battery Life
Often you will carry your rangefinder about your person. You want it to lightweight, portable and compact so you can put it in a pocket or hold it on a lanyard or carabiner. Also, is the rangefinder quick to resolve ranges? You should be looking at a second or less to range a target. Is it also easy to grip and hold steady? many rangefinders are ergonomically designed with a rubberized grip to minimise shake. You want to make sure the rangefinder battery would also last a normal season of use.
Medium Range Dual Purpose Archery / Shooting Range Finders
Medium range rangefinders with 6x magnification also have maximum specified ranges at about 1000 yards. In practice on normal targets in average conditions, this would put their practical use at around 500 yards. This would be fine for dual purpose use for archery or rifle shooting at medium distance. The 6x magnification gives enough field of view for closer targets but is precise enough for shooting targets up to several hundred yards.
A Golfing Rangefinder Reviews
With a Golfing Rangefinder, we want to have x6 magnification. This gives us enough magnification to spot flags hazards and obstacles out to 500 yards. In addition, you want some form of “target First” priority mode which enables the user to see the flagpole in the foreground only. The device automatically selects the distance to the flag ignoring background trees and bushes close to the flag.
Often each manufacturer has a different name for this. For example, calls this feature “PinSeeker”. Some golfing rangefinders give a range locking signal in the form of a vibration telling the user that the flag has been correctly been identified from any background targets.
Typical Specification of Good Quality Golf Rangefinder
- Magnification: 6x
- Obj. Lens: 21 mm
- Dimensions: 1.5x4x3 inches
- Weight: 8oz
- Battery Type: 3-Volt Lithium (CR-2) included
- Display: Dual Display Technology
- Range: 5-1300 yards; 450+ yards to Flags
- Ranging Accuracy: 1/2 yard
- Also Water Proof: Yes
- Eye Relief: 16mm
- Exit Pupil: 3.5mm
- Optical Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
- Built-in Accessory Mount: No
- Field of View: [email protected] yds
A Hunting Rangefinder Reviews
Furthermore, when doing rangefinder reviews there is much to consider. Long-range shooting requires a different rangefinder with an x7 magnification and a specified maximum range of at least 1500 yards. Also, remember starting with a 1500 yard rangefinder only allows a practical range of animal targets out to around 750 yards. This is because the quoted range is calculated on a large highly reflective target. In the field, use the general 1/2 rule. And also 750 yards would cover most practical conditions for long-range rifle shooting.
The PRECISION PRO GOLF NX7 PRO LASER RANGE FINDER, for example, with its higher power makes it easier to get a first-time reading on an animal target at say 200-300 yards than a lower powered rangefinder with maximum range at say 600.
Typical Specification of Good Quality Hunting Rangefinder
- enhanced 7x magnification range performance
- 3400 yards maximum range on reflective targets
- 1500 yards maximum range on trees
- 1200 yards maximum range on deer
- Range over a mile with results displayed to the nearest 1/10th yard
- Revolutionary Lightwave™ DSP technology ranges faster at longer distances with increased accuracy.
- Also, in scan mode, it refreshes at an ultra-fast 4 times per second.
- Lumatic OLED Display™ continuously monitors light conditions to adjust the display brightness automatically
- AMR™ (Angle Modified Range) compensation gives true shooting range correcting line of sight range and shot angle
- Multi-position twist-up eyecup provide a custom-fit for each user perhaps wearing glasses
- Also Dependable waterproof (IP X-4) and fog-proof performance
- Lightweight magnesium body and a compact form
- Multi-position twist-up eyecup provides a custom-fit for each user
Bow Hunting Rangefinder Reviews
For bow hunting, because of the usual range for arrows, there is no need for high magnification so a typical bow hunter rangefinder would have x4 magnification. This also has the additional benefit of increasing the field of view in the display. This makes it easier to spot moving prey t at short range. Archery rangefinder needs to have a “last priority targeting” feature to ensure bushes and branches in the line of sight do not get ranged but only the range of the target prey in the background.
Typical Specification of Good Quality Bow Hunting Rangefinder
- Magnification x Obj Lens: 4x 20mm
- Sizes: in/mm 1.4 x 3.8 x 2.9 / 36 x 97 x 74
- Weight: oz/gr 6.0/170
- BatteryType: 3-Volt CR 2 (incl.)
- ClearShot Technology: Yes
- CONX Technology: No
- ARC Modes: Bow
- Targeting Modes: ClearShot
- E.S.P. 2: No
- Rain-Guard HD: No
- Water/Fog Proof: No
- Range: yds7-850Reflective
- Ranging Performance: yds 850
- Tree Ranging Performance: yds 600
- Deer Ranging Performance: yds 200
- Rangefinder Accuracy:+/- 1 Yard
- Price Versus Performance
- Carrying case, battery and neck strap included
- Pocket-size ergonomic design
Rangefinder reviews summary
We have tried to give you a pointer here to select the right range finder for your intended use. Also, when conducting rangefinder reviews take a good look at their specification to identify features you’re looking for.